Not revamped, not rejigged, not redesigned. Reloaded. APB’s new suffix is apt, as this free-to-play reincarnation of 2010’s deflated cops and robbers MMO is a retread of the same ground. The same drab city, the same hollow combat, the same lopsided results.
The original city of San Paro has been left standing, a monument to badly judged level design and the colour grey. The first game’s devs, Realtime Worlds, intended the place to live and breathe. Instead, it spluttered a few times before its life support failed. Its resurrection is a miserable one.
Multiplayer cops and robbers game APB has broken out of its cell and barged rowdily onto Steam. For more than a year, GamersFirst have been rebuilding it as a free to play game after APB's first run came to an abrupt end after its creators, Realtime Worlds, went into administration.
It's now called APB Reloaded, and you can download the client for free now. GamersFirst say that this is an open beta phase. They'll continue to fix bugs and refine things as players go to war. You get to create a cop or a crook using the fantastic character creation suite, and then roam the city of San Paro in squads, where you'll be assigned missions designed to dynamically match you up with players of a similar level. Will it work? Has it improved since it we gave it 55 in our APB review back in summer 2010? There's only one way to find out. Are you playing it? What do you think so far?
The APB Reloaded blog has news that the second open beta has launched alongside the 1.5.2 update that makes "the biggest changes to Missions, Matchmaking, Skill Rating and District Recommendation to date." The patch was delayed for several weeks while the changes were tested, but is ready to go. It's set to improve matchmaking within districts and improve network speeds. Check out the 1.5.2 update on the APB blog for more information. You can sign up, grab the client and dive into the open beta right here.
When we heard that longstanding free-to-play gurus GamersFirst (fun fact: they actually own the trademark on the phrase "free2play") were picking up Fallen Earth from original devs at Icarus Studios, we knew that the post-apocalyptic shooter would be going free-to-play not long after. But GamersFirst was playing shy, and only just today announced their official plans to fold the game into the fastest-growing MMO business model on the planet.
the APB: Reloaded open beta was set to go live last week, but ended up delayed at the last minute because of a connection bug. GamersFirst have posted on the APB: Reloaded blog to say that the problems have been fixed, and the open beta is set to kick off today. The open beta servers are now set to go live at 6:00am PST/ 9:00am EST/ 14:00 UK and 15:00 CEST. You can also find out more on the APB: Reloaded Twitter account, and their Facebook page. See you in San Paro.
The APB: Reloaded open beta was set to kick off later today, but has been pushed back because of connection issues that have cropped up in the last 48 hours. In a message on the APB: Reloaded blog, GamersFirst said "we are clearly disappointed that this afternoon's public launch has been put temporarily on hold, but in the end we strongly believe that first addressing this issue is the most critical and important step we can take as a development team."
GamersFirst haven't given an estimate for the length of the delay, but you can always have a read of our APB: Reloaded preview while you're waiting for the servers to go live. The devs say "as soon as we have more data we will update the community on Facebook, Blogs and through Twitter."
This is one of our first glimpses APB since it was taken over by GamersFirst to be remade as a free-to-play game. The video shows off the Macchina Calabria 127 squad car, the new starting vehicle for Enforcers.
Monstrous car handling was one of APB's biggest problems. It's hard to tell whether it's much improved from this footage, but the squad car does manage to snake its way through the shopping mall quite adeptly, and he hits that pedestrian with acceptable precision. THE MURDERER. APB is currently in closed beta. Keep an eye on the APB Reloaded blog for updates on the game's progress.
If APB was notable for anything, it was the vast levels of customization that it allowed. Literally, if you could think it you could probably do it. GamersFirst are assuring players that the many hours they put into their creative endeavours will be preserved for when the game is resurrected as APB: Reloaded.
Cops and robbers MMO APB is due to be reborn this year as a free to play title at the hands of GamersFirst, who bought the game from the ailing Realtime Worlds last year. They've just announced that a closed beta for APB: Reloaded will be kicking off in February.
GamersFirst boss Bjorn Book-Larsson has been talking about some of the things we can expect to pay for when APB is relaunched next year as a free-to-play title. He talks about some of the differences between free and premium accounts, and about plans to charge for advanced customisation options.
As reported last week, cops and robbers MMO APB has been bought by GamersFirst, who have announced that the game will return as a free-to-play game in the first half of next year. We've had a chat with GamersFirst CTO and COO, Bjorn Book-Larsson about the next chapter for the troubled MMO, discussing the game's potential, the new features GamersFirst will be working on, and the reasons why APB failed in the first place.